Friday, September 19, 2014

Insta-Friday...A Long Wordy One

Seriously, I should just change this blog name to Insta-Perspective because Insta-Friday is about all that happens on this dusty 'ol blog now a days. Whatevs. I'm cool with that. Insta is better than nothing. #fosho

This week was exhaustingly full...fall into bed dog tired every night kind of full. But a good fall into bed dog tired exhausting.

When I feel like I'm going to collapse from a full calendar, and a tiny whisper in the back of my head wants to back down from so many commitments or my self-imposed high expectations, I think to myself if my life isn't about giving with everything I've got...then what is it about?

One of my mantras is your life is your message. I don't think we were created to stick to ourselves. We are social creatures. I think we were created to love and show love. I want my kids to see a family of service and become strong individuals that humbly give as well. Fatigue from from a full calendar and a never ending to-do list is a fulfilling fatigue. A good kind of exhaustion.

And the truth is, I cannot sit still. Even when I try to simplify, I seek connecting with people and reaching out...and end up with more on my calendar and to-do lists than I had before. It's who I am. It drives me crazy sometimes...a lot of times...feeling like I need to do more, but not knowing if I can handle what I've got. It's in my nature to push through and go all the way...and keep going.

And occasionally there are fleeting moments when it's so fulfilling I feel like my heart could explode. And my exhaustion is validated and the joy from it takes me through the next bout of meetings and events and tantrums and potty practices...

It's a beautiful cycle really.

Last weekend I ventured to a Young Life leader weekend with a van full of awesome people and spent two days bonding and becoming inspired about just doing life and talking about Jesus with young people.

It was relaxing and comforting and energizing. I left feeling excited and refreshed to share life with young people. To be there for young people. To be a positive, reinforcing voice amongst the chaos of all the mixed messages they are constantly bombarded with.

On multiple occassions lately I have observed what is going on during a high school lunch hour in a crowded fast food restaurant, and my heart hurts for the way people interact and respond to one another.

People need to see and hear and experience love and positive values. We need to teach our teens how to treat others with dignity and respect and how to react when others don't. And I think it goes beyond just teaching our own children. I'm sad for the ones that do not experience in their homes. And the truth is our kids will experience them outside of our homes. Simply guiding our own kids isn't enough. I think we are called by our social nature to do more. It is written on our hearts.

If you know many Abby stories, then you know we need all the help we can get raising this feisty one up right. She seems to naturally rebel against authority. To push her boundaries. To knee-jerk react. To live in her own world of pixies.

She's a passionate spirit that one.

So we are always looking for ways to instill and reinforce humility and empathy and compassion and perseverance and self-discipline and respect and reverence in this one.

Oh Girlfriend worries her mama.

So when we learned about American Heritage Girls, a Christian-based scouting organization, we instantly knew without.a.doubt that Abby needed it in her life.

The problem was, there was not a Kindergarten Pathfinder unit leader. So what does a mama do? Well, she steps up and leads a Kidergarten Pathfinder unit. It was totally up my ally anyway. #itwasinevitable #girlfriendneedsthis #itsinmynature

I eat this stuff up. Anything with a fun theme...for a good purpose...has potential to be crafty...is girly in the slightest is pretty much my M.O.

AHG was meant for Abby...and her mama.

On the first night I passed these out to my unit girls. Abby is down right convinced this Chapstick is magical and she cannot speak evil when she is wearing it. I love it!

If only it had long-lasting coverage that she couldn't lick off because it tastes like cotton candy...

Be.still.my.heart.

Halloween.Cheetos! Are you kidding me?!

Seriously. This was the most fun gift ever to be gifted to me.

I was down right giddy to bust into this bag. I mean like a child.

I love Halloween. I love junk food. It's the truth. I do.

I l.o.v.e. this kind of stuff.

I mean a boring homemade lunchable is transformed into a party, and the kids are gobbling it down like crack.

This my friends is priceless to a stay-at-home maker of lame lunches!

I'm not gonna lie...my lunch plate looked just the kids' plates that day.

Shout out to my friend that knows me so well! You freakin made my day that day!

Halloween Cheetos. That's all it takes.

#itsthelittlethingsinlife #likebagofbonescheetos #holla

Oh Jamberry. You have ruined regular nail polish for me. For life. It's just no longer good enough.

Girlfriend got her first diary this week. It was pretty sweet to watch her cherish that little lock and keys. She drew it it and demanded a picture to glue in there. She wrote her name and the three sight words she can spell and her ABC's. It was awesome to watch her feel so grown up and empowered because of that little book.

On a side note...I'm kinda terrified what her diary might hold in ten years. Hopefully it will just be a log of her AHG badges she earns...right.

She really wants to be independent. I really try to enable that independence...when it's a good place for it. It's really hard sometimes.

Spills happen. They just happen. And they are fixable. Even the thick chocolate syrup kind are fixable.

Lord have mercy on this mama's soul.

So....long story short, we needed to put a system in place to encourage my pixie-loving, strong-willed, AHG-going Girlfriend to be good and stay on green at school.

Bribery is a significant part of parenting. No matter what you say you will or will not do as a parent before you have kids...I believe (because parenting is oh so humbling) there will come a day when you say...fill in the blank...If you...we will...

It may go something like this...

If you stay on green for ten days...we will go to the arcade.

And then you may find yourself shooting zombie pirates with your 5 year old daughter...

#dontjudge

#youdowhatyougottodo

Love it when the putinias get replaced by mums.

#signsoffall

#eventhoughitisstillninetydegreeseveryday

#whatgivescolorado

It's getting real. Play rehearsals have transitioned into dress rehearsals. And I love it! Every stinkin' thing about it! From the fact that when this boy was an infant I used to call him my little Munchkinlander...to that fact that his red hair is spot on as a tough guy munchkin...to the fact that he gets to be part of the cast party after 4 full performances...to the fact that he is learning the rewards to how all this hard work pays off. It's such an awesome experience to watch him be a part of.

I love clothes. I do. I can't help it. I think putting together coordinating outfits is crazy fun. I get sucked in every time. I say...oh I'm going to skip this release...and then somehow I find myself looking at the FB boards...then trying on a sweater...and it all goes downhill from there. It's a guilty pleasure. I love soft, cozy, comfy mama clothes. And I love anything with a vintage look. MJ pretty much has my number. It's my kryptonite. My soft, comfortable, stinkin' cute, cozy kryptonite!

This cracked me up. A tasting chart for Brody.

He liked every kind of apple they tried at preschool. Ha!

Imagine that.

I have yet to find a food that kid does not like.

#threeyearoldfoodie

From YL to AHG to PTO and more this week. It was action packed.

Donuts with dads was a total success. Dads...kids...music...a Bronco tickets raffle...spirit wear sales. It was fun. We have an awesome school community. Good people. Dedicated families. All in it for the kids. It feels good to be a part of such neat connected community. I used to be intimidated to be involved. But we are all in it for the kids. Nothing to be intimidated by about that. People are good people when you put yourself out there to know them.

After a Donuts with dads, Brody had his three year old well check, then he requested chicken nuggets and chocolate milk so we stopped by Chick-fil-a for a mama and Brody date...followed by a trip to the library. I love our special time together, just us. These kids have my heart I tell ya. My whole heart.

Let us not forget that today is one of my absolute most favorite days of the year...Talk Like A Pirate Day!!! We rocked our pirate attire with pride me hearties for some (3 dozen) free Krispy Kreme doughnuts.

I love that we have such awesome friends that are willing to go on these adventures with us! I'm so not above dressing up for free food. Pirate and cow costumes are an investment if you ask me.

This week was all over the place from regular drop offs and pick ups to ballet to an AHG meeting to a canceled Young Life event to a religious ed meeting to a sacraments meeting to preparations to launch a Box Tops contest. It was cray cray. Totally cray cray.

But it was totally worth it...

As St. Francis of Assisi said, "For it is in giving that we receive."

 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Insta-Friday

What a week. My cup runeth over.

This week I finally hung up some plates I've been hoarding forever. Such a fun touch of country whim. I'm gonna turn this house in the burbs into my country farmhouse yet.

Abby and I worked on her "All About Me" timeline. Girlfriend has some nice handwriting for a somewhat defiant Kindie. There may be hope yet.

I ventured out to a Young Life capture the flag game...with condiments...because it wouldn't be Young Life without a mess.

Thank goodness for my KleenGuard all-purpose coveralls...

Ab, Brody and I snuggled up one afternoon after Kindergarten and ate Halloween Oreos and watched My Little Pony. Loved these moments all snuggled up together.

And I prepared to hike my first 14er...

I was super excited and kinda terrified...

7 miles
14,060 feet in elevation
43 mph winds
1 out of shape mama
2 amazing friends
We made it! But I'm not gonna lie...it kicked my butt. There were two times when I was not sure I was going to make it to the top...while my lungs were fighting to suck in oxygen and my legs turned to jello and I thought my heart was going to explode.

But.we.made.it.

Then we scarfed down some delicious, greasy cheese burgers.

It was the best cheese burger of my life!

 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Insta-Sunday

Whew! Busy week. So full of quality family time and good friends.

We started Labor Day weekend off with a fire and s'mores...

And continued the next day with visiting Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. Feeding the graiffes was one of the coolest things I have ever done.

They are absolutely beautiful creatures. Look at those eye lashes!

Then later that night we missed bible study because Brody Bear was puking all over the place. Sad.

I'm not sure what this poor rocking house did to Brody, but he secured him with fabric strips, bead necklaces, cable cords, ropes, Andy's missing belt...he did quite the number on that poor horse...

Sunday morning we had homemade crepes. Soooo yummy.

Sunday evening we made homemade applesauce...

Smoked pork chops...Fried green tomatoes....

And homemade sandwich bread for the kids' lunches.

Yay three day weekends!

We stocked up on some fall goodies...
I put on new jam berries! Seriously addicted to these nail wraps.

And on Tuesday Brody Bear started pre-school!

Sweet boy loves it!

He says, "It's so fun there!"

He just pulls that monkey backpack inside, gets his name tag, washes his hands, and runs off to play like he owns the place.

He says, "I go school now."

And my heart melts.

Love that boy something fierce.

Also love my new two kid free hours twice a week!

I made AJ's munchkin costume this week...

I am finding that shopping without kids is incredibly fun! I may have lost control in Bath and Body Works over their delicious fall scents!!!

Halloween Oreos. Fall is the best time of year. Ever.

We executed the best tractor birthday party in history. Easy. Fun. Hilarious. Just cake, ice cream, and Gator rides. #genius

Brody said, "Ride the alligator now."

He went on every single ride.

Can't believe our sweet boy is 3...well on September 15th.

This little guy loves to play with trucks and tractors and cars and tools, play in the dirt and rocks and sand, chase bunny rabbits, build with Lego duplo blocks, drive his cozy coupe like a maniac, give squeeze around the neck hugs, snuggle with his pillow pet and blankie, sing, participate in everything around him, climb, swing, eat anything in sight, pretend to be a doggie, roar like a dinosaur, carry around his teddy bear, see police cars and fire trucks, wash his hands, and just smiles and laughs all day long every day. He's our sweet, fun-loving, adventurous Brody Bear.